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8.11.2011

And speaking of experiments...

I mentioned these briefly in my post the other day but I'm working on some experiments.  I got a few requests for recipes on fermenting zucchini, so since I have an abundance of it I've got four different fermented preparations in the works.  First of all, I have two different relishes- one shredded with dried lemon peel and dill, and one diced with turmeric and dill.
Lacto-fermented zucchini slices, shredded zucchini relish, and diced zucchini relish.
I also sliced up some zucchini and used them to prepare a very basic ferment, using only a dill seed head, the salted brine, and some starter (some brine from my previous batch of sour pickles).  For this I was thinking "what would my kids like?"  They love pickles, but there aren't any other ferments I can get them to eat regularly.

And lastly (and most simply), I picked some tiny baby squash, mostly yellow summer squash, sliced off the blossom end, and threw them into the batch of sour cucumber pickles I had started the day before.

I won't have my first "results" for at least a week, but I'll let you know as soon as I do.

Here are the things I considered when working with zucchini:
  • Zucchini contains more water than cucumbers, so use more salt/less water.  Also, for all the preps except the last I tossed the cut/shredded zucchini with salt and let it sit for an hour or so to pull out the water before adding more to make the brine- this way you have a better idea as to how much less water to use (don't discard the water the zucchini puts off- use it in the brine!).  I wouldn't suggest much kneading or squishing like what you would do to make sour beets or sauerkraut, as zucchini isn't a tough as cabbage or beets.
  •  Summer squash and zucchini are tender plants- do not abuse them!  This is the reason that squash is not often heat canned, at least not in applications where retaining shape or texture would be important.
  • I assume that since it's a more tender vegetable, fermenting times will be shorter.
  • While cucumber has its own distinct flavor, zucchini is more of a blank slate.  I would imagine I could add any of a myriad of flavor combinations, but I decided simple is best for my first go.
So here's hoping I'm left with more than a pile of mush in a week or so!

4 comments:

Homemade Easy said...

Hello: I love zucchini. I have lots of recipes, I'm willing to share. http://ourfamilymemories1996.blogspot.com/.....will work on posting them now......blessings to you & yours, Virginia

webbsway said...

I just had to let you know that I just got to taste your recipe for the Sun Pickles. They are Awesome! Of course my mouth is still "puckered up" ,but that makes it so much fun - and then the after taste is a sweet taste.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Brandislee said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the pickles- they are a definite crowd-pleaser, and they always turn out great! I prefer sour pickles, so I've only made two jars of sun pickles this summer... but in one I left out all the spices except the dill and added allspice, cloves... and something else (I'll have to look!). I'm curious to see how they turn out!

Jenn the Greenmom said...

Wow, I'm so looking forward to seeing how this turns out! My zucchini patch is going nuts this year too.

Two years ago when I made zuke pickles I made the mistake of saying, "meh, I don't need to do the salt thing,how bad can it be?" My result was ugly shrivelly looking pickles. Now I know better.

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